Our skewer roundup of recipes has enough splendid kebobs–chicken, seafood, beef, even vegetables-to get you through this summer. If not, you can always use your oven or stovetop. Because handheld noshing is welcome at any time.
Meat on a stick. You can’t beat it with a stick! I’m dubbing this summer the unofficial Season of Skewers.
The great things about grilling kebobs, kebabs, or skewers (take your pick) are 1.) they take no time to cook, and 2.) they take so well to marinades.
In a Greek kind of mood? Whisk some lemon juice, oil, garlic, and oregano, and douse your favorite food. Jones-ing for little sumthin’-sumthin’ Asian style? I feel you. Whip up some peanut sauce, massage it into some chicken chunks, and you have dinner.
Even veggies get kicked up when paired with halloumi cheese and slathered in a kickass harissa glaze.
So dig out your metal, wood, or cast-iron skewers from the drawer, clean that grill, and serve up food the way summer demands: on a stick.
Can skewers be reused?
If you are using metal skewers, then yes, give them a good cleaning after each use, and they are safe to use again and again. Wooden or bamboo skewers are intended for single use only and should not be reused.
Do wooden skewers need to be soaked?
Yes. Wooden skewers should be soaked for at least 30 minutes before use. This prevents the wood from burning while the food is cooking.
How do I make sure my food cooks evenly on the skewer?
Don’t pack the pieces of food too tightly on the skewer. Leaving a little space between each piece of meat will allow it to cook evenly.
Turn your skewers several times during the cooking process to encourage even browning. A pair of tongs is the best tool for this.
These recipes offer plenty of options for an easy skewered meal and feel free to use them as a guide and get as creative as you like. Choose your favorite marinade, like this easy Greek marinade, a quick-cooking protein, and an assortment of veggies, and load up your skewers. What’s your favorite combo?
8 Best Skewer Recipes
For the turkey kebabs
- 3 pounds boneless turkey (white or dark meat) cut into 1 1/2-inch (8-cm) chunks
- 2 (7-ounce) onions grated
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or verjuice
- 1 tablespoon ground sumac
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or mild vegetable oil
- Sea salt to taste
For the cucumber salad
- 3 cups peeled Persian or English cucumbers cut in 1/2-inch (6-mm) cubes
- 3/4 teaspoon dried mint or 1 tablespoon torn fresh mint leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
To serve (optional)
- Cooked rice
- Assorted chopped fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley
Make the turkey kebabs
- At least 3 hours before you want to grill, pat the turkey dry. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, onion, vinegar or verjuice, and 1 teaspoon sumac and stir to fully coat the turkey.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 hours.
- Slide the turkey pieces onto skewers, leaving ample space between each piece. Discard the marinade. Lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Grill the skewers, turning frequently, until the turkey is lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Partway through cooking, sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sumac and another generous sprinkle of salt.
Make the cucumber salad
- While the turkey is cooking, place the cucumbers in a serving bowl.
- Sprinkle with the mint, sumac, and salt and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
- When the turkey is done, pile the skewers on a platter. Serve with the cucumber salad along with and rice and herbs, if desired.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.